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Goodwin announces coaching staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
School might be out for the summer, but Russellville football coach Doug Goodwin has been keeping busy.
He has finished assembling his coaching staff and is now preparing for fall practice, which is only a few weeks away.
Goodwin, who was lured from Demopolis in April to replace Perry Swindall, is using this month to take his squad to local passing camps. Russellville traveled to Florence to participate in the University of North Alalbama's 7-on-7 camp last weekend, and the Golden Tigers will head south later this month for Hamilton's passing camp.
The new coach is also using the summer months to meet the community by attending club meetings as either a guest or featured speaker.
Goodwin spoke yesterday at the Russellville Civitans Club meeting and talked about his family, coaching background and coaching staff.
He credited his wife, Donna, a math teacher and counselor, as the "ultimate coach's wife," and says he was blessed with two sons, Dusty and Devin. Both played quarterback at Demopolis under their dad and are now playing college football in the Gulf South Conference – Dusty is a senior quarterback at UNA and Devin is a junior at Delta State, where he also plays baseball.
Goodwin is from Syllacauga and is a graduate of Auburn University, where he played defensive back his freshman and sophomore years.
"I only played two seasons for three reasons – I had a couple of injuries, got married and I wasn't going to play in the NFL," joked Goodwin, who became a volunteer coach for the Tigers.
After stints as an assistant coach at two high schools, he was hired as the head football coach at Marion County at the tender age of 24. Goodwin admitted he wasn't fully prepared for everything that comes with the head job.
"But the best way to learn is by experience," said Goodwin, who went 5-5 during his first year.
He said he enjoyed coaching at Demopolis, where he won two 4A state championships, but felt compelled to make a change.
"We came here because we felt led to do something," Goodwin said. "We know it's a town that's highly interested in athletics and expects to win, and that's what we expect, too."
When he began coaching, Goodwin said he was told he needed a coaching philosophy.
"My coaching philosophy is very simple," said Goodwin, who received the Meritorious Service Award from the Alabama High School Athletic Directors &Coaches Association in 2005. "I think a team needs fundamentals, discipline and a genuine love for each other."
Spring practice was Goodwin's first challenge as Russellville's coach, because several returning players were still playing baseball.
"Spring practice was a chore because we had so many players missing," Goodwin said. "The first three days, no one really knew what was going on, but by the fifth day we had our full team, and it was immediately better. It's just a matter of building relationships and building that trust between the coaches and the players."
He quickly added that it's important for players to focus on more than football.
"We're willing to work around (other activities)," Goodwin said. "It's important for players to be well-rounded individuals."
After the meeting, I asked him what matchup he's looking forward to the most this season.
"Right now, it'd have to be Deshler, because it's the first game," Goodwin said. "These are two good programs, and anything can happen in that first game."
Deshler, despite being a non-region rival, has been a thorn in the Golden Tigers' side in recent years. I've never been fortunate enough to watch this matchup in person, but I'm looking forward to watching this season. A win at Deshler on August 31 would be a great way to start the 2007 season.
Editor's note: Paul Finebaum is on vacation, and his column will return this Sunday.
RHS Varsity Football Staff
New coaches:
Freddy Lawrence – Defensive Coordinator, Inside Linebackers
Matt Gohagan – Defensive Backs
Dusty Davis – Offensive Coordinator, Wide Receivers
Wayne Harris – Statistics
Paul Czervionke – Defensive Line
Returning coaches:
Tim Townley – Outside Linebackers
Ted Ikerd – Offensive Line
Tony Buckhalter – Running Backs